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Portland City Council District 5

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  • Kenneth Capron

  • John Coyne

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    Mark Dion

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    Kathryn Sykes

Biographical Information

What are your top priorities for 2021?

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Campaign Phone (207) 318-1004
Campaign Email
Finance Type private
1. Help create a path forward for active collaboration between the police department and communities that have been disenfranchised by systemic racism in our justice system. We need to lead on developing a process for community oversight on questions of use of force by police officers and how we can set a public safety agenda for our city that is more inclusive in defining what those safety priorities should be. 2. Increase the availability of affordable/accessible housing in Portland. Whether we are addressing homelessness, substance abuse disorder, elder populations or the viability for working class families actually living in our City, we need to be aggressive in creating conditions that propel the construction of more housing units. 3. The Covid pandemic has overshadowed the opiate crisis, but the reality of overdose deaths has not simply gone away. We need to examine the possibility of creating a safe injection site as part of an overall harm reduction strategy for the City.
I have served the City of Portland since 1977. I spent two decades on the police department, retiring as Deputy Chief. I then went on to be elected as Sheriff for twelve years. I served in the Legislature for eight years serving six in the House, where I chaired both the Energy and Criminal Justice Committees. I concluded my legislative service with a two year term in the Senate continuing to work on the Energy and the Marijuana Committees. I have a private law practice in Falmouth. My wife, Cheryl, a visiting nurse, and I raised our two daughters here in Portland. They have become the strong, independent and successful women we had hoped for. One is a clinical speech therapist and the other is the owner of her own design firm. I have had a long career in the law and the making of public policy. I try to always remember that public policy is more than budgets and plans. Policy has real impacts on real people and the relationships and responsibilities that are important to them.
Campaign Phone (207) 558-5764
Campaign Email
Campaign Website
Twitter @sykeswriter
Finance Type Our campaign is not taking money from developers or corporate PACs and individual donations are capped at $500.
I'm running a campaign to make Portland a great place to live and work, not just to visit or invest in. I support moving forward with the city property tax revaluation for greater tax equity, ending tax giveaways to corporations, raising the minimum wage, and putting community care, not policing, at the heart of public safety. As climate change continues to inundate coastlines, stress our marine industries, and displace people from the Global South, we need to position ourselves for greater community resilience, social equity, environmental sustainability, and working-class prosperity. That is why I helped write and collect signature for the Local Green New Deal for Portland.
As a community organizer, I know that the people most affected by a problem are the ones most qualified to come up with and help implement the solutions. I will work to increase civic engagement and community power-building by centering neighborhoods, workplaces, and cultural communities in city policy decisions. I was an organizer with the campaigns for Ranked Choice Voting and Public Financing for Clean Elections in Portland. I served as a strategic liaison with the Keep Portland Healthy campaign for Paid Sick Leave for all workers. I am currently an organizer for the People First Portland Campaign to pass five ballot initiatives that put the needs of people before the demands of corporate profits.